This January signing has flown a bit under the radar, but CFL star WR Reggie Begelton will push for a roster spot with the Green Bay Packers this summer.
Whether you watched every snap of Green Bay Packers’ football in 2019 or just a few drives here and there, it didn’t take long to realize that the wide receiver unit – outside of Davante Adams and second-half Allen Lazard – was very underwhelming overall.
While each player not named Adams and Lazard would still have their own moment or two, drops, an inability to create after the catch, and misplaying the football were major issues among the group last season.
The hope among many of the Packer faithful was that a big free-agent signing or selecting one of the many receivers in this loaded draft class would take place this offseason. Instead Green Bay would add Devin Funchess to the mix via free agency and as we all remember, they didn’t even select a receiver in the draft.
However, one move that GM Brian Gutekunst made while the 2019 season was still going on and it’s a move that may have been forgotten about by many, was the signing of CFL star wide receiver Reggie Begelton to a futures deal on January 6th.
If you’re not familiar with Begelton, that is quite alright. He was a four-year starter at Lamar University where he is the all-time record holder in receptions, receiving yards and he is second in touchdowns. In fact, on the school website, he is referred to as “one of the all-time greats in program history.”
After taking a year off, Begelton has since spent the past three seasons playing in the Candian Football League for the Calgary Stampeders. During the first two seasons, he would see modest production with 47 receptions at an impressive 16.8 yards per catch with two touchdowns over 16 games. Oh, and he made this fantastic sideline catch as well:
While during those first two seasons Begelton was solid but not spectacular, it was his eye-popping performance in 2019 that caught the eyes of Gutey and the Green Bay Packers, among a few other teams.
In 17 games last season, Begelton would haul in 102 receptions with a catch rate of nearly 71 percent and 1,444 receiving yards, 519 of which were after the catch. Not to mention that he was also able to tally 10 total touchdowns.
Sure this was the CFL and not the NFL, but at any level of football, that kind of production is nothing to turn your nose up at.
For a closer look at Begelton’s skill-set and what he brings to the Packers, Nick Kowalski who covers the CFL for Last Word on Sports had this to say:
“Reggie’s a tall but lankier receiver who’s primarily been a deep threat that is able to go up and attack the ball over smaller defenders. He’s got solid hands and has a knack of finding open space in both the deep and intermediate zones, but furthermore can tack on yards after the catch with his vision and acceleration with the ball. He’s not a burner, but more a medium to long-range threat who can turn 20-yard catches into 40 yards with the YAC.”
Now having said all of this, is Begelton going to step in and give the Green Bay Packers that dynamic second receiver that they’ve been looking for? No, probably not.
However, he gives them a big-play threat and someone who can pick up yards after the catch, two areas that this Packers offense needs some real help with. And take this as you will since Begelton is yet to step on the field as a Green Bay Packer, but according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, Matt LaFleur is very excited about having him on this team:
“The one thing that really stands out is you can tell he is super invested,” coach Matt LaFleur said of Begelton. “He’s done a great job at picking up everything that we’ve thrown at him. He does a great job. We’ve been quizzing these guys quite a bit, and he is repeatedly at the top. I’ve been just super impressed with his approach and just excited to see him and see what he’s got to offer on the field.”
In the end, Begelton will likely be competing with Jake Kumerow, Darrius Shepherd, and Malik Taylor for the sixth receiving spot on this team. With his skill-set and ability to produce – albeit at a lower level of football – Begelton is certainly someone to keep your eyes on this summer and if he does make the final 53, I won’t be surprised at all if he’s given some meaningful snaps to help give the offense a boost.